New York, June 3, 2016–Several journalists were attacked and some had equipment stolen while covering protests in Caracas Thursday, according to news outlets and a local freedom of expression group. Some of the journalists who were attacked said that the Venezuelan National Guard did not intervene to prevent the attacks and in one case, forced…
When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was rumored to be gravely ill four years ago, his socialist government was tightlipped about the diagnosis. Then in June 2011 a source in Havana, Cuba, where Chávez was being treated, told Nelson Bocaranda, a veteran columnist for the Caracas daily El Universal, that the president had cancer.
Amid skyrocketing inflation and shortages of basic goods, Venezuelan authorities claim that an “economic war” is being waged against the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro. The government is striking back by forcing stores to discount prices, by arresting business owners accused of hoarding–and by targeting journalists trying to cover the grim economic news.
During his 14 years in power, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez tried to muzzle critical news organizations. Chávez died in March, but the pressure on Venezuela’s remaining independent media outlets is only getting worse under his successor.